David Richards comes clean

Richards in his BAR days

Richards in his BAR days 

 © The Cahier Archive

David Richards has run two Formula 1 teams to date: Benetton back in 1997-1998 and then British American Racing from 2002-2004. He has gone away to do other things but keeps coming back, despite saying that F1 is not the be-all-and-end-all of his existence. But Richards is ambitious and at 53 has a few years yet in which to make his mark on the sport. In the next few days his Prodrive company will unveil a prototype road car called the P2, designed by Peter Stevens, a wellknown British car designer who has produced such models as the McLaren F1, the Jaguar XJR-15, the Lotus Esprit and more recently the MG SV. Prodrive says that this is a mobile test bed for new technologies such as stability and turbo anti-lag systems and to be used to show the world Prodrive's automotive design and engineering capabilities but you can be sure than Richards is hoping that Subaru might take up the two-seater sports car which uses one of its engines and its transmission and four-wheel drive systems. As other race teams have found over the years, the inevitable route after success in the sport is to build cars to try and exploit that success. It is a pattern which has been repeated since the sport began by companies such as Bugatti, Delage, Ferrari, Lotus and most recently McLaren.

Now Richards is talking about an F1 team of his own. He is dreaming if he thinks that F1 costs can come down massively as long as there are manufacturers and companies like Red Bull in the sport but the sport operates in cycles and some of the manufacturers of today will eventually leave the sport. They will want to offload their teams on others and you can be sure that when that happens David Richards will be a Formula 1 team principal once again.

Our feeling is that Richards is probably angling to get his hands on Renault F1 if, as rumoured, the French manufacturer calls it quits at the end of 2007.

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